Originally Posted by newskier
this is my first time skiing and i was wondering if anyone could let me know what to wear for this adventure...including under and outergear and accesories...EVERYTHING...i need help!
It depends somewhat on where you're skiing, and what temperature or weather conditions you're likely to face. Big difference between dry, windy ten below and dampish, low altitude 30 above (and that's not even getting to sunny and 40, which we won't get to until March ... at least not with snow on the ground).
Here's what I'd typically wear, from inside out. For one-stop shoppers, REI should have just about all of it.
Long underwear bottoms. You may already have these. Synthetic is good. Some people like silk. Not cotton. Not wool, unless you want to itch all day. Oh yeah: don't tuck these into your ski boots. The rule of the foot-boot interface is smooth: no seams, no folds.
Long underwear top. Ditto. Long sleeves.
Socks. I actually like silk socks. You might prefer something a tad heavier, particularly since you're going into rental boots. What you don't want is cotton, or anything with texture, like ribs or what have you. Nor do you want loose socks that will bunch up. Smooth, not real thick = happy feet, no blisters or raw bits.
(Optional) Shirt. Some people like to wear a turtleneck. Or a button-up synthetic or wool shirt.
Sweater. Traditionally this would be a wool ski sweater. Nowadays, I think people more commonly wear a synthetic fleece pullover.
(Optional) Fleece pants. I never wear these. If it were really cold, I might want them, I guess. In my experience, it's most important to keep your core warm, not so much your legs. They'll stay pretty warm on their own.
Ski pants. The standard is a sort of shell, without much, or any, insulation. Somewhat baggy (compared to typical adult
street clothes, anyway) is usually best. You need to move, after all. Ones with suspenders, or a bib may be more comfortable. You'll probably be tempted to skip these, and wear jeans or something, but I'd recommend you spring for real ski pants. You can pay up for really nice Gore Tex ones if you want, but at this point, you don't need to.
Jacket. A shell with minimal insulation seems the best way to go. If you're not sure about the whole skiing thing, you don't need to go over the top on features. Just something that fits, blocks the wind, is reasonably water-repellent, and has some pockets will work. You may have something that'll work already.
Gloves or mittens. Mittens are a little warmer, but I prefer gloves. You do want real ski gloves here, not the minimally-insulated city-winter gloves or (God forbid) wool mittens or something. You will find it extremely difficult to ski with your hands in your pockets. I like leather gloves, but most people use synthetic gloves. If you need to ride a rope tow, they need reinforced palms, which anything marketed as a "ski glove" should have. I don't know if they have to go over your jacket cuffs. Mine don't.
Hat (or helmet). A comfortable wool ski hat is pretty standard garb. I wouldn't try to get away with earmuffs or a headband, unless you know it'll be warm (and you don't mind looking goofy ... which you better not, 'cause you'll pretty much look goofy the first time you go skiing no matter what you do). A helmet is preferable, safety-wise. I don't know if I'd spring for one right off the bat, but if you're committed to taking up the sport, you may want to get one. Some ski schools won't take children unless they have helmets, though I think they do take adults. You might want to ask, anyway, just to be sure.
Goggles. Ski goggles, not swim goggles or lab goggles. Yellow lenses or rose. All the main brands are fine (Scott, Smith, Oakley, etc.), so pick by what you like, what fits your face comfortably, and what fits with your helmet, if you have one.
Ski boots. Rent these.
Ski poles. Rent them also.
Skis (with bindings mounted on them). Surprise: rent them.
Shoes or boots to wear when you walk into the shop to rent all that stuff. You don't need anything fancy. If you have some sort of snow boots, good; but you can get away with anything comfortable with reasonably good traction. Expensive wing-tips or high heels, on the other hand, are right out.
Wallet, with money, credit cards, health insurance card. You'll go through the money and credit cards faster than you might expect. You probably won't need the health insurance card, but who knows.
A tube of chapstick comes in handy. Sunscreen, too, for the face.
On your first day, go light on other junk that you might be tempted to put in your pockets (camera, phone, radio, framed photographs etc.). These can come in handy, but they're not good to fall on.